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Bomb kills 6 guards: Afghan Police

world Updated: Feb 06, 2009 02:46 IST
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A roadside bomb killed six guards of a key district chief in southern Afghanistan, a police spokesman said today.

The yesterday blast ripped through the vehicle carrying the guards of Mullah Salam, the chief of Musa Qala district in Helmand province, said Daud Ahmadi, a spokesman for the provincial police chief.

The attack was second on the district chief's guards. In January, 20 policemen tasked with protecting Salam were killed in another Taliban ambush in Helmand province.

Taliban were in control of Musa Qala for much of 2007, before a U.S. and British force kicked them out and installed Salam, a former Taliban commander, as a district chief.

Musa Qala is in southern Afghanistan, which is the center of the Taliban-led insurgency. The militants have made a comeback after their initial defeat in the US invasion in 2001. Violence in Afghanistan has spiked in the last three years, and Taliban militants now control wide swaths of countryside. In what amounts to an Afghan version of the surge in Iraq, the US is preparing to pour at least 20,000 extra troops into the south, including Helmand.

President Barack Obama wants to increase the US military presence in Afghanistan as the US pulls back in Iraq.